A Sociolinguistic Profile of the West and North Goodenough Groups

Statement of Responsibility:
Lambrecht, Philip and Alison Kassell

Between the 28th of June and the 16th of July 2004, Alison Kassell, Philip Lambrecht and Bonnie MacKenzie of SIL PNG Branch conducted a sociolinguistic survey of the west and northern sides of Goodenough Island, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. The goals of the survey were: to define the dialect boundaries and to evaluate linguistic vitality. This was achieved with the use of sociolinguistic interviews, interviews with religious and community leaders, the collection of wordlists and text testing in Iduna and Bwaidoka.

The team found that the dialects of west and north Goodenough form part of a dialect chain that encompasses most of Goodenough Island. It was found that people in the west could not comprehend texts in either Bwaidoka or Iduna. Although the limited time spent in the north meant that not as much data could be collected as the team would have liked, it seems that at least the areas of Waibula, Ufaufa and Ibawana should be considered a divergent dialect, if not another language altogether from Iduna. Further research is needed with regards to the areas of Upper Wataluma and Idakamenai.

A smaller survey of the Kaninuwa language located in Lower Wataluma ward was also conducted between July 12th and 13th (see Kassell, Alison. 2005. Kaninuwa language survey report. Manuscript.).

53 pages
Language surveys
Papua New Guinea
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